Skip to main content
38 votes
Accepted

Why is there (almost) no variety to the Hebrew accent in Israel?

English has been spoken in New York for hundreds of years while Hebrew was only revitalized in the late 19th century. The British Isles are said to have more varieties of English than the rest of the ...
Nardog's user avatar
  • 4,941
29 votes

Why is there (almost) no variety to the Hebrew accent in Israel?

You’re right that there is very little regional variation in Modern Hebrew accents (though there are a few street market and schoolyard slang differences). Israel is a small, well-connected country ...
Uri Granta's user avatar
  • 1,162
18 votes
Accepted

Did Eureka lose its H?

Indeed, the Ancient Greek word εὕρηκα would be transcribed heurēka, with an H. The mark that looks like an apostrophe (the "rough breathing" or "spiritus asper") indicates the H ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.8k
16 votes

Native English speakers: worse understanding of other accents?

The first thing to consider is that this is a comedy show, and Lily Tomlin is a comedian. The second is that US speakers of English don't have a lot of exposure to UK accents, especially those most-...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
13 votes

Why is there (almost) no variety to the Hebrew accent in Israel?

Also note that most of the growth of Israely Hebrew follows the invention of the radio and telephone. Radio and television are believed to be major harminizors of accents.
hildred's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes

Native English speakers: worse understanding of other accents?

Lily Thomlin is a comedian. She's playing the supposed difficulty of understanding the accents as a joke. If you pay attention, she laughs quite appropriately to the jokes the others make. When ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 231
12 votes
Accepted

Why is the English phoneme /θ/ pronounced like /t/ in Indian accents but /s/ in Chinese accents?

Here's a paper that's addressed a similar phenomenon of the different realizations of /θ/ between Cantonese and Sichuanese speakers, both of which are dialects of Chinese and share similar phonetic ...
Matthew Su's user avatar
9 votes

What is the difference between Silesian Polish and neutral/standard Polish?

Native Polish born in Upper Silesia here. Here is my answer: When a native Silesian of older generation (say, 60+) speaks standard Polish, he/she has a strong regional accent which includes following ...
Wojciech's user avatar
9 votes

Why is the English phoneme /θ/ pronounced like /t/ in Indian accents but /s/ in Chinese accents?

This is a great question without a clear answer. People have struggled to find the answer since the 1970s: Here is my 2002 paper with many references listed in Appendix A. See also my dissertation ...
k8i's user avatar
  • 161
8 votes
Accepted

Why are two versions of a word written in the same IPA pronounced differently?

The main reason is that you're looking at phonemic rather than phonetic transcriptions. IPA can be used for both; the way you usually distinguish is that you use slashes for phonemes, brackets for ...
abarnert's user avatar
  • 2,625
8 votes
Accepted

Do stressed (in e.g. English) or pitched (in e.g. Japanese) phones contribute to different phonemes?

Whether we call something a "phoneme" or not depends on the kind of theory and analysis. It’s just an arbitrary tool of description. Some linguists will lump together tones and vowels/consonants as "...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
8 votes

AmE feature related to American multiculturalism?

As a literal and general claim, I doubt the accuracy of that statement for any native speaker (words like family, camera, potato, supposed contain syllables that are frequently subject to elision in ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
6 votes

Why do Americans and Canadians pronounce "t" with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables in English?

This is a common phonological process called "lenition", from the Latin for "weakening". There are various causes posited for this, but the simplest can be summarized as language speakers are lazy: ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Conflation of language dialects and phonology

There are a number of speech-form clusters in the world, that is, genetically related languages which are so structurally similar that they are said to be "dialects" of a language – e.g. Saami, Shona, ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
6 votes

How is it possible to reconstruct old accents of a language?

Oftentimes we have documents that talk about how things were pronounced, especially when they criticize people for how they talk (the Romans were rather famous for that). Texts like poems are also ...
user0721090601's user avatar
6 votes

Minimal Pairs Highlighting the Difference between American and British English

The problem is that "minimal pair" refers to two distinct words in one language signified by the choice of one vs. another sound. So minimal pairs are not what you want. You want a list of "same word"...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
6 votes

How to remove an accent from a language (and what an accent actually is)

This will all make more sense if we replace accent, which is a relative term used mostly by non-linguists, with pronunciation. if there is such thing as "speaking a language without an accent" No, ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
6 votes

Why do people with a British accent make an "r" sound at the end of words ending in an "ah" sound

Further to IMSoP’s answer: I live in a non-rhotic part of the UK. Non-rhotic means we don’t sound Rs unless they’re followed by a vowel. So we drop the R at the end of ‘rotor’ but sound it in ‘rotor ...
David Garner's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

History and Reason of Portuguese accentuation marks

It is true that the earliest fragments of Galician-Portuguese have no stress marking, although they already make use of other diacritics such as the tilde and the cedilla. The first Portuguese grammar,...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,476
5 votes
Accepted

Do sign languages have "accents" like verbal languages?

If we define 'accent' to mean a distinctive manner of expressing language characteristic of a particular group(s) then I would say that the answer to your question is yes. All that would be required ...
Mithrandir's user avatar
5 votes

Are there common traits of foreign accents across languages?

I don't know of research, or whether the following is true, but phonological alternations might be due to phonological processes in the speech of native speakers, but due instead to phonological rules ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
5 votes

Why do Americans and Canadians pronounce "t" with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables in English?

The explanation for flapping, which takes place between vowels within the stress foot, has to do with the general phonetic timing of English segments, and it is a consequence of factors that shorten /...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
5 votes
Accepted

How to remove an accent from a language (and what an accent actually is)

Accents, in this sense, are the result of there being dialects of languages, where the rules of pronunciation differ, depending on the dialect. People say that you have an accent, when your ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
5 votes
Accepted

proper terms for tipper and dipper S articulation

The technical terms in articulatory phonetics for "tipper" and "dipper" are apical and laminal. They are both voiceless alveolar fricatives (IPA: [s]), but since "alveolar" only describes the passive ...
Nardog's user avatar
  • 4,941
5 votes

How do accents of a whole town drift?

This does indeed happen! It tends to follow the same processes that make whole languages change over time. Just on a smaller scale: smaller area, smaller changes, smaller timespans. (Intuitive example:...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.8k
5 votes

Native English speakers: worse understanding of other accents?

Note, the given example is from a chat show that occasionally borders upon being comedic in nature. Lily Tomlin and Kevin Bridges are comedians - Chris Hemsworth and Graham Norton are Australian and ...
Andrew Corrigan's user avatar
4 votes

What is the pronunciation of English word "feeling" in General American accent? The normal sound [ˈfilɪŋ] or add the "l" sound, [ˈfiɫ lɪŋ]?

The thing you call "double l" is more generally known as "dark l", and this topic has been researched (inconclusively) for decades. The classic study of the question is Sproat & Fujimura 1993 "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

Is there a General European English Accent?

Those people just happen to have accents that sound similar to your ears. Features common to several European languages but not your native English stand out to your ears. It'd make sense to ...
user23212's user avatar
4 votes

Why did Canadian English remain so close to standard U.S English?

There was a large amount of movement of people back and forth across the international border while the US and Canada were being settled. Such movement tends to homogenize the dialects. Evidence for ...
Dan Tilque's user avatar
4 votes

How do accents of a whole town drift?

Every community has "influencers". This isn't a social media invention. An influencer is someone who has an above average impact on their surroundings. Think of this like how Genghis Khan has more ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 241

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible